Recently my wife and I were hanging out with friends, good friends, the best. The time we spend together is always a spiritual experience. As we immerse ourselves in each other’s presence, God joins us. We don’t realize time’s passing, only becoming aware of the hour after seeking out a clock. The dinner hour snuck up on us. We order pizza – not because we are hungry as much as we know we should eat.
Soon we’re sitting at the table. “Who would like to pray?” our host asks. With little hesitation, their oldest, a preteen girl offers. We bow our heads but she doesn’t launch into a flurry of words; she pauses. When sufficiently ready, she prays, not a memorized petition or spewing phrases of rote familiarity, but considered words appropriate to the situation. When finished, we thank her and nod our approval, but no one lunges for food; we wait.
“Does anyone else want to pray?” Her brother and sister both do, but her sister speaks first. We bow again. She prays, too. Her brother is next. These kids know how to approach the Almighty. Their parents have taught them well.
Only the youngest has not participated. “Do you want to pray?” his mom asks him. He nods. He’s not yet talking much so I wonder what he might say. Like his siblings, he prays from his heart; his few words surely bless God. We affirm his prayer, just as we did for his older brother and sisters. Only then do we consider the food before us.
As I savor my first slice of pizza, I contemplate what just happened.
These kids want to pray. They place prayer over food and their siblings’ turns over their stomachs. Their reverence inspires me. The prayers they offer are not a performance for people but communication with their Father in heaven.
May I be more like them.
What are your mealtime prayers like? What Bible verses come to mind about prayer or teaching our children about God?